NaPoWriMo Day Five: Will Ingrams – Short, Rhythmic Poems

Today we welcome back a poet who not only provided a prompt last year but wrote a poem in response to all 30, Will Ingrams.

Short rhythmic poems

I’m a sucker for rhythm in poems, and I often find myself counting syllables. In addition I like quite short poems, rather than lengthy ones, so this prompt is for a short, rhythmic poem.

Start with a brief phrase that appeals to you for its sound or its meaning, and about which you have something to say, such as ‘Daffodils unfolding’ or ‘Dyspeptic puppies’. Follow this with two or three lines that expand the topic and feel pleasing to read.

Look at the structure of that first stanza in terms of syllable count and rhythm, and modify it if necessary to make it better. This is the first stanza of your poem, and the next two or three stanzas (no more please) should follow the same form while developing the first idea or introducing something else that fits.

Play around with the words to improve the poem, but keep the same rhythm in each stanza.

Examples, first using a 3-5-3 syllable count, then a 3-6-5 syllable count:

Low tide mud,
a playground for birds;
I sit, watch

Waders pipe,
scuttle through salt pools,
delve for worms

Calms me down,
seeing vibrant life

Was that me
who sat in exam halls
disgorging the facts?

Was it me
that camped in a mud-field
for music and mates?

Are they there,
still dancing inside me,
the ones I once was?

Will Ingrams

Will Ingrams writes poetry, short stories and the occasional novel at a cottage in rural Suffolk. He has been shortlisted in several competitions and has a blog at , where more poems can be found. Will’s flesh and blood avatar has spent time as a postman, a forecourt attendant, a teacher and a computer geek before turning to writing and growing vegetables.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please consider showing your support with a donation via

Buy Me a Coffee at

Books by many of the poets featured on the podcast are available from the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop here. All books purchased via this link help to raise money to keep this podcast going.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s